If you were in downtown Cleveland, Ohio last night you may have noticed that it was a bit of a challenge to get around. Fact is you had to pretty much fight your way to the entrance of the Palace Theatre what with the high winds and bone chilling temperatures. For those that did brave the more blustery than usual conditions they were in for a treat. Last night was the single Cleveland appearance of “The Intergalactic Nemesis Live Action Graphic Novel – Book One Target Earth”.
So just what is this show all about? “TINLAGN – BOTE” is equal parts graphic novel, radio play and science fiction adventure all rolled into one. It consists of three voice actors, a foley artist (sound effects expert) and piano player who are positioned in plain view in front of a two story high screen onto which huge graphic art panels are projected. What makes this show such a hoot is that the audience is encouraged to participate by cheering for the heroes and booing at the bad guys. There was even some barking coming from somewhere in the back (but hey, that’s just Cleveland).
The performance was totally awesome. At times it was hard to figure where to put your attention. The larger than life graphics were colorful and dynamic. The actors did dozens of voices as well as facial expressions and at some points did multiple characters at the same time. The sound effects added an entirely new dimension to the proceedings and the grand piano was the perfect choice for the musical accompaniment. It was when all the elements came together of voice, sound effects, artwork and music that true magic was made right in front of our eyes.
At last night’s show at the Palace Theatre, the year was 1933 and Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Molly Sloan and her intrepid research assistant Timmy Mendez teamed up with a mysterious (and possibly from the future) librarian, Ben Wilcott. In the course of their adventure they traveled through Romania, to Scotland, across Europe to North Africa where they embark on a trip to the Robot Planet (located in the Effdillinplitzenpire Galaxy), landing at last on Imperial Zygon. It is here they face the most terrible threat that humanity has ever faced; the invading force of sludge-monsters from outer space known colloquially as “The Zygonians”.
The action was fast moving and there was no dreaded dead air during the entire show and the audience really got into the show. Thus the first installment of “Book One – Target Earth” was shown and “Book Two – Robot Planet Rising” is hopefully next (there is a third installment in the works as of this writing). It is a shame that the weather kept a lot of people at home last night. This really was a fantastic event that was truly worthy of the Palace Theatre. It is live theater like you have never seen before. Hopefully the producers of the show will bring back “Part Two” sometime in the future when the climate is more cooperative. As for me, I cannot wait to see what comes next.
Prude Alert: This is a totally wholesome show that is great for the entire family although the intensity may be a bit much for very small children. There is absolutely no profanity or improper references. It is just good clean fun.
Shooting From The Lip (My Last Words): “The Intergalactic Nemesis Live Action Graphic Novel – Book One Target Earth” is without a doubt one of the best and most exciting evenings you will find in theater. It combines drama, humor, audience participation and perfect synchronization into an evening of pure theater magic. Let’s hope they make a return trip to the frozen north soon.
The Cast and Crew
Chris Gibson … Ben Wilcott, Mysterion, etc.
Danu Uribe … Molly Sloan, Aughy, Queen of Zygon, etc.
Brock England … Timmy, Shopkeeper, etc.
Cami Alys … sound effects
Kenny Redding Jr. … piano
Jessie Douglas … projections
George Stumberg IV … sound mixing